Restyle Your Kitchen Lighting
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 | Karen
HOW TO SELECT LIGHTS FOR YOUR KITCHEN
Choosing lights for the kitchen is every bit as important as choosing the cupboards and worksurfaces, kitchen lighting should be seen as part of the overall design and you should consider the following points before completing the project so that the wiring is in the right place.
So you are considering a restyling of your kitchen?
Is this part of a major rebuilding project or are you just looking to refresh the look? This may have a bearing on how you select your lights along with the budget.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What is the size of my kitchen?
- What is the colour scheme going to be?
- Natural light sources, that's anywhere that allows daylight to come into the room, windows, skylights, doors.
- How many natural light sources does the space have?
- From which direction is the light coming from?
- When is the time of day that provides the brightest / dullest light?
- Will your kitchen only be used for cooking or will you use it as an entertaining space, as a dining space or as a work space?
- Where do you want to put sockets and switches?
- Do you have features you would like to highlight, where are they? - Do you have a piece of architecture, a picture that you want to highlight?
Having answered all the questions above you can now start your plan:
- Are the lights to be decorative or simply functional?
- Should they follow a theme?
- Where is your ambient light going to come from?
- Do the lights need to match the fittings or each other?
With these questions answered or at least considered you should be able to have a clearer idea of the style of lights you need.
Many builders will go for some recessed LED's in the ceiling, you may want that, but with a little imagination you can transform the look of your kitchen without it costing a fortune.
Pendant shades or a chandelier perhaps, depending on the size of room these will give you your ambient light and if chosen correctly a stylish focal point as well. These needn't be boring either, retro kitchen shades can be in colours to match or blend with kitchen units or worktops. While a multi-pendant or chandelier could be in antique brass or silver or polished if that suits the scheme.
Chandeliers with exposed bulbs look better with vintage filament bulbs as it is part of their charm. If you are reducing energy consumption elsewhere having your statement light with vintage bulbs will only be a small extravagance.
Over the worksurface or table you might want to place a series of lights, if you want something interesting go for different heights, if you prefer order then 3 lights the same height. These can be mini pendants if space is limited. Generally it is better to have 3 mini lights that 2 medium pendants. (3's and 5's work better in nature, same applies in the home!)
Most pendants can or will be fitted with LED bulbs if you want to save energy, modern LED bulbs can still give a warmish white at very low wattage, good if you have a family that leaves lights on all the time. You can get dimmable LED bulbs too, which when used with the correct dimmer switch, will give you both good economic light, but a gentle and warm glow when needed.
Don't overlook the use of wall lights within the kitchen or dining area, they can be very effective for brightening that alcove or awkward corner, making it a feature rather than a something to hide. These can be with vintage bulbs or dimmable LED's, choosing a prismatic glass will give a warmer effect too.
You are likely to spend a lot of time in your kitchen / diner so make sure the finished room is a pleasure to be in, not just a functional space.
Remember lighting should only be installed by a qualified electrician.
Some Kitchen Lighting Ideas